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Groves: Froch wouldn't have beaten Calzaghe

Froch and Groves in the ring. Credit: PA

George Groves has paid a qualified tribute to the retiring Carl Froch, lauding him as a "tough, strong man" but questioning whether he would have been good enough to hold his own against previous British super-middleweight greats.

Groves and Froch did not hide their dislike for each other in the build-up to their two big bouts and the controversial manner of the stoppage in their first fight clearly still rankles with the Londoner.

"Carl Froch was a tough, strong man, very tough, I don't know how he would have got on with those guys," Groves told Sky Sports News.

"I don't think he'd have beaten Calzaghe, Calzaghe would have been too quick for him. Him and Nigel Benn would have been an out-and-out war. Benn has a bit more skill and class about him but that would have been a great fight to watch.

"He's a tough man to beat, Carl. Sometimes you think you've got him and then a bit of controversy gets in the way. Sometimes you're boxing really well, you're in full control, and one punch can change a fight. There's plenty of fights of Carl Froch's that I've watched and thought 'he's losing this', or 'he's not going to get the win', and he ends up getting the win.

And Groves, who has won two straight bouts since his second loss to Froch in May last year, said he hoped the pair could put their differences aside now that Froch had hung up his gloves.

"We don't need to be friends of course: I've got friends. But there's a rivalry when you're going to box and now that he's no longer a fighter that rivalry isn't there."

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DeGale aiming to make British boxing history in Boston

James DeGale is ready to create his own slice of history this weekend ahead of his bout with Andre Dirrell for the vacant IBF super-middleweight crown in Boston.

DeGale's Boston bout is a tricky one to predict. Credit: PA

The Londoner is hoping to become the first British boxer to win an Olympic gold medal and a world title on Saturday evening.

Standing in his way is the highly-regarded Dirrell, whose only defeat in a 25-bout professional career came in a controversial points loss to DeGale's compatriot Carl Froch six years ago.

DeGale is not not taking the threat of Dirrell lightly, but the 29-year-old is convinced he will emerge with his hand raised.

He said:

He's a tricky, talented, confident fighter - he believes in his ability. He said that he would not get beaten again in his career, and I am sure he believes that 100 per cent.

So you have two very confident fighters going into the ring on Saturday.

I'm going to show everybody who I am. I'm driven to become the first Olympic gold medallist from the UK to win a world title and I'm doing it for my country.

– James DeGale

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Pacquiao receives hero's welcome back in Philippines

An injured Manny Pacquiao arrived back in the Philippines to a hero's welcome on Wednesday, the boxer still adamant he did enough to win his welterweight megabout against Floyd Mayweather Jr at the start of the month.

Pacquiao is unlikely to fight again any time soon. Credit: PA

The 36-year-old southpaw was wearing a sling on his right arm following shoulder surgery on a torn rotator cuff suffered prior to his unanimous points decision loss to the American in the heavily hyped fight in Las Vegas on May 2.

Pacquiao, a world champion a eight different weight classes and regarded as one of the sport's great entertainers, was sued in a U.S. court last week by two people who felt defrauded by his failure to disclose the pre-bout injury.

The Filipino, smiling for photographers, told reporters at Manila Airport his focus was not on boxing for now.

"I haven't discussed with anyone about my next fight. My focus right now is my shoulder recovery and to make it 100 percent okay, and my focus is on my congress work and family," he said.

Mayweather brands Pacquiao a 'coward'

Floyd Mayweather has branded Manny Pacquiao a "coward" and distanced himself from a possible rematch of last weekend's one-sided victory in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao blamed a torn rotator cuff for his conclusive points defeat at the MGM Grand, claiming his damaged right shoulder meant he effectively only had use of one hand.

Floyd Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao last week. Credit: PA

In a text message sent to ESPN on Tuesday, Mayweather hinted he would be open to a second clash with the Filipino only to perform a U-turn that will fuel Amir Khan's hopes of facing the unified welterweight champion in September.

"Did I text Stephen A. Smith and say I will fight him again? Yeah, but I change my mind," Mayweather said in an interview with American television network Showtime.

"But at this particular time, no, because he's a sore loser and he's a coward. If you lost, accept the loss and say, 'Mayweather, you were the better fighter.'"

Khan could fight Mayweather in September

Amir Khan is hopeful of arranging a showdown with Floyd Mayweather in September, aided by the fact Ramadan falls earlier this year.

The Bolton fighter believes an eight-week training programme after Ramadan ends on July 17 will be sufficient to prepare him to face the American.

Amir Khan is hoping to face Floyd Mayweather. Credit: PA

"I'm not ruling out fighting in September because it's possible that it could happen," Khan said.

"Mayweather only fights in mid-September and Ramadan will be a little earlier this year, which helps. It gives me enough time to get the training done. So it can happen in September."

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